Sony’s New PlayStation Handheld Is A PS5 Remote Play Solution In Search Of A Problem

Sony surprised many by revealing a new handheld gaming device during its PlayStation Showcase. But Project Q, as it is known for now, is not the new PSP or PS Vita. As things stand, it feels overwhelming.

Here’s what we know about this device: It’s a dedicated handheld that can stream games from your PS5 via Remote Play over WiFi. It’s actually a small screen crammed into the middle of the DualSense controller. It has a high resolution screen of eight inches. Coming later this year.

And that is it. That’s all Sony has to say about it.

I’m all for ways to make it easier for people to play games. But except for those who want to still play a PS5 game while someone else is using their TV or maybe play a little more Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 when they are in another room, I really don’t understand who this is supposed to be.

Right now, Project Q raises more questions than it answers. Sony’s PS Plus cloud game still doesn’t work on mobile devices or tablets (or Macs or smart TVs). The company seems to be making more inroads into cloud gaming with the promise of more updates in the coming months.

Perhaps this means that the Project Q handheld will support cloud streaming, which would make the device more viable. But I see no reason to buy this.

When I’m away from my PS5 or my partner is watching something on TV, I can use my Backbone controller and phone to play a little more Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart (which is joyful and worth checking out). I can do it out of the park if I want, since the iOS Remote Play app works with a cellular data connection. If my phone is charging or I don’t want to turn off notifications so I can play undisturbed, I can access my PS5 remotely via Steam Deck or laptop.

There are already tons of options for remote PS5 access that don’t require a dedicated handheld.

What’s particularly odd is that Sony announced Project Q a day after Backbone revealed a PlayStation-branded version of its Android controller. That suggested to me that we’d get mobile cloud gaming news during the PlayStation Showcase, but no (note: I was way go with mine showcase predictionsbut please don’t hold it against me).

At first glance, I can’t see Project Q being popular unless Sony sells it at a price very reasonable price. Right now, it’s a spin on the Wii U gamepad that seems destined to go the PlayStation TV route.

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